This Day In History: 1940-07-09


Ida Shepard Oldroyd (1856 – 1940) died on this day.
She was a US conchologist, married to fellow shell collector Tom Oldroyd; they collected extensively in southern California and amassed a large collection. Oldroyd was recruited by the California Academy of Sciences to classify the shell collection of Henry Hemphill in preparation for the collection’s transfer to the Academy (1914), shortly afterwards Stanford University acquired the Hemphill collection and hired her to catalogue it (1916). Stanford purchased the Oldroyds’ private collection (1917) and hired the Oldroyds as curators in the Department of Geology, where they served for the rest of their lives. In the mid 1920s, the Stanford shell collection was the second largest in the world. Oldroyd’s Publications include Marine Shells of Puget Sound and Vicinity (1924), and the 4 vol. The Marine Shells of the West Coast of North America (1924-27).

Oldroyd described over 20 species of mollusc (her husband describing a further 10) and is honoured in the names of a number of species under oldroydae, and idae.